Wells Fargo RV Loans
If your dream is to travel around the country, it’s hard to beat a recreational vehicle that can go anywhere you want and never leave you stranded without a place to spend the night. But buying an RV isn’t cheap, with a basic camping trailer costing as much as $22,000 and higher-end motor homes driving well into the six-figures.
For this type of major purchase, it’s worth researching your loan carefully because the wrong terms could mean overpaying for years. In this article, we’ve reviewed RV financing from Wells Fargo & Co. so you can see if it’s right for you.
About Wells Fargo
As the third largest bank in the country, Wells Fargo has thousands of branches spread throughout nearly 40 states. The bank traces its roots back to 1852 during the California Gold Rush, maintaining its headquarters in the Golden State to this day. It has become one of the largest financial institutions in the world, providing a full range of banking services including specialty loans for boats, motorcycles and, yes, RVs.
Wells Fargo is working to repair its reputation after a series of scandals regarding fake accounts and the way in which it treated student loan borrowers, mortgage customers and auto loan customers, many of whom were forced into mandatory insurance programs. For its violations against mortgage and auto loan clients, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settled with the bank for $1 billion, but Wells Fargo remains under an asset cap imposed by the Federal Reserve.
Wells Fargo: At a glance
Wells Fargo manages RV loans under its specialty vehicle financing division. You can use its RV loans to buy a wide range of both new and used vehicles including:
- Motor homes
- Travel trailers
- Tent or pop-up trailers
Wells Fargo does not list the specifics about its RV loans online so we called customer service for more information on April 9, 2019. We requested a quote for an RV loan in California, where Wells Fargo has its headquarters. According to customer service:
- Loan amounts range from $3,000 to $100,000
- For loans at least $25,000: 12-month to 180-month terms
- For loans below $25,000: 12-month to 144-month terms
Your particular loan APR will depend on your credit score, the length of your RV loan, the amount borrowed and other factors, but here are a few scenarios based on information from Wells Fargo customer service as of publication.
- 12-36 months: 10.6%-17.0%
- 37-60 months: 10.6%-18.2%
- 61-149 months: 11.2%-18.8%
- 150-180 months: 11.2%-18.8%
Wells Fargo does not provide a minimum credit score requirement for its RV loans but credit score will be a factor in determining whether you qualify and at what interest rate. The bank will also verify your income and the value of the RV, which will be used as collateral to back up the loan. It’s worth noting that because an RV is considered a luxury item, good credit is typically needed in order to qualify for financing.
Besides RVs, Wells Fargo offers several other types of specialty vehicles loans for boats, aircraft, motorcycles, Jet Skis and snowmobiles.
How to apply for financing
Wells Fargo only accepts loan applications from customers with an existing account. If you don’t have any sort of Wells Fargo account, you can set up a checking or other basic account while applying for the loan.
You can apply for a Wells Fargo RV loan online or at one of its branches. While you can call Wells Fargo for help, it does not accept these loan applications over the phone. A customer representative also told us that by the end of April 2019, the bank would only accept RV loan applications online. You can apply online through the Wells Fargo personal loan application.
Wells Fargo’s loan application asks for standard information like Social Security number, contact information, date of birth, income, employment status and citizenship status. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify. You’ll also need to list how much you’d like to borrow for the RV loan, the term and preferred monthly due date.
As part of its decision, Wells Fargo could ask for additional documents to verify your income and identity. You may need to provide a pay stub and copies of your W-2, tax return, personal ID and utility bill(s) to complete your application. Wells Fargo notes that it could approve and pay out your RV loan within 1-2 business days, though the application process could take longer if the bank needs more time verifying information.
The fine print
There is no cost to apply for RV financing through Wells Fargo and if you qualify, Wells Fargo does not charge an origination fee to launch your loan. Wells Fargo RV loans also do not have an early payment penalty so you can pay the debt back ahead of schedule without owing anything extra. Wells Fargo does charge a late payment penalty of $39 any time you miss your loan payment deadline.
If you have a Wells Fargo consumer checking account and set up automatic payments on your RV loan, you will qualify for a 0.25% discount on your APR. The bank notes that if you stop making automatic payments, you’ll lose the discount. If you don’t already have a checking account, you can set one up while applying for a loan. As soon as you set up automatic loan payments, Wells Fargo will adjust your loan interest rate.
All Wells Fargo consumer checking accounts charge a monthly fee unless you meet certain balance or transaction requirements. Make sure you can meet those requirements so the monthly fee doesn’t wipe out your interest savings.
Pros and cons of financing through Wells Fargo
While Wells Fargo provides many different types of loans, a possible convenience for existing customers, its interest rates are quite high. Even if you qualify for a customer discount on its lowest APR on an RV loan, you may be able to find lower rates at other banks, credit unions or online lenders. We found rates as low as 4.25% as of publication. Before deciding on your RV financing, you may want to collect quotes from other lenders to see if you’d receive a better deal. To compare how much you’d owe with a Wells Fargo loan versus another loan, estimate your monthly payment using this RV loan calculator from LendingTree. You could also fill out a single form on LendingTree where you may receive up to five RV loan offers from lenders, based on your creditworthiness.
It’s difficult to find information about possible RV loan rates and fees on the Wells Fargo website. While it has a product page that gives a basic overview, for key information like loan terms and APRs, we had to call customer service. Here are some other pros and cons when considering RV financing from Wells Fargo:
Highlights of Wells Fargo RV financing
- No application or loan origination fee: You don’t need to pay anything to apply for a Wells Fargo RV loan. If you’re happy with its offer, Wells Fargo also will not charge a fee to launch your financing.
- Discount for payments from a Wells Fargo checking account: If you set up automatic payments on your RV loan through a Wells Fargo checking account, it will reduce your loan APR by 0.25%.
- No early payment penalty: You can pay back your RV loan ahead of schedule without owing any extra fees.
Lowlights of Wells Fargo RV financing
- High rates: Wells Fargo’s quoted APRs are higher than other rates we’ve seen for RV financing. Even if you have excellent credit and qualify for its lowest rate, you may end up paying well above what other lenders charge.
- Maximum loan amount only $100,000: If you’re looking at more expensive RVs, Wells Fargo may not offer enough financing for the entire purchase.
- Limited information online: The sales page for Wells Fargo RV loans has little information. To get up-to-date interest rates and other loan terms, you’ll need to contact a Wells Fargo representative.
The bottom line: Who is Wells Fargo best for?
If you already have a Wells Fargo bank account or other loans, the idea of keeping all of those accounts under one roof may be appealing. Wells Fargo can pull up your existing account info, thereby speeding up the application process. You’ll also be eligible for a discount on the loan APR by setting up automatic payments from your checking account.
Wells Fargo also gives you the flexibility to pay off your RV loan ahead of schedule, with no penalty. This can come in handy if you think you’ll be able to make larger payments someday in the future. You could set up smaller monthly payments today but then contribute more later to get out of debt earlier, so you owe less interest.
Finally, Wells Fargo could be a good choice if you want live support for planning your RV loan. We were able to easily reach one of their bankers by phone to discuss RV financing in detail. Since Wells Fargo has thousands of branches around the country, you can also drop by to speak to someone in person. Just keep in mind that while you can discuss the loan with a Wells Fargo representative, by the end of April, you’ll only be able to submit the actual application online.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to get the best deal on your RV loan or you’re interested in financing a luxury RV, Wells Fargo may not be the right choice. Loan amounts only go up to $100,000 which sets a hard ceiling for what you could afford. And Wells Fargo’s RV loan interest rates are surprisingly high, even for people with excellent credit. For a loan secured by a valuable vehicle, it’s not necessary to pay a double-digit interest rate. With a little web research, you may find a much better deal elsewhere.
The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing